Pupils learn from Olympian

Olympian Rhydian Cowley, pictured at an Olympic staging camp, spoke with students from The Grange P-12 College. (Supplied/Athletics Australia).

By Alesha Capone

Athlete Rhydian Cowley has shared his experiences of competing at the Tokyo Olympics with pupils from The Grange P-12 College in Hoppers Crossing, as part of a Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) virtual classroom program.

Around 80 students from the school, including youngsters from the college’s primary Sports Science Academy, took part in the online session recently.

Under the VIS’ ‘Be Fit. Be Well’ program, athletes returning from the Tokyo Olympic Games have chatted with pupils at schools across the state.

The ‘Be Fit. Be Well’ program, funded by School Sport Victoria, is free for government schools to participate in.

Rhydian Cowley, a 50 kilometre race walker who placed eighth in his event in Tokyo while representing Australia, spoke to grade 4 to 6 students.

The Grange’s Sport Science Academy learning specialist, Bryar Kerridge, said that Cowley talked about his early sporting days, training, and taking part in the Olympics in a COVID world.

“The kids asked some amazing questions and one of the things we teach them is to think about what they want out of sessions like this, they asked questions about mindset and sportsmanship,” Ms Kerridge said.

“During these times it is important to be able to connect kids to the world, major events and things outside our school.

“We are really thankful to the VIS and Rhydian for making this happen.“

Cowley said: “The students were all so enthusiastic and engaged, it felt like they were really excited to talk to an Olympian”.

See www.vis.org.au for details about the ‘Be Fit. Be Well’ program.